the book reviews
Kent Nerburn is a writer, a sculptor and an educator. His book, Neither Wolf Nor Dog, epitomizes education. The book had to be written and Kent was chosen to be its author. All North Americans should read it. It will initiate a healing process. Healing is a prerequisite to the continued growth and development of North America. The book is not easy or enjoyable reading. Not because of the concepts or vocabulary. But because of the sad truth. It is the voice of the survivors of a genocide. It is the voice of native North America. It asks only to be heard. A humble request, but it is a painful story. The narrator is an old American Indian. The old man is not lamenting. There is a higher purpose. It includes everyone. I have cherokee blood. It is mixed with Welsh, Irish, German and Swedish. I was not raised in the native culture. However, I am a perpetual student of this aspect of my heritage. I found Kent's book at a crucial time, and I am very thankful. It helped me to see that I have been disrespectful to the native people of this land, because of my ignorance. I believe that our planet can continue to exist in a natural way; only if modern man accepts the teaching of the dwindling aboriginal population. For this purpose, the true story of the Indian must be heard. Not for the sake of pity or guilt, but to prepare a basis for spiritual healing. A healing that begins when people learn the truth. The truth of the native North Americans. After the healing, aboriginal people can share their wisdom with the rest of the planet. They can teach people how to respect the planet, before it is entombed in concrete and steel. They can teach us to acknowledge the red man. They can teach us to abandon the myth of the noble savage. They can teach us to be proud of our heritage. Every centimeter of North America is a witness to the truth and has an ancient name. It is time to learn. Neither Wolf Nor Dog is a test. Open your heart. Teach your children.
Copyright © 2019 by Michael A. Hawes. All Rights Reserved.
Michael Hawes was born in Texas, raised in Louisiana and lives in British Columbia.